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Words with sticking power

By Debra Dobbins

“Velcro parents” is a phrase that means parents who cling to their children, refusing to let them do anything on their own.

Velcro is a trademarked name for a product that often replaces zippers or shoelaces.This product has two layers, a hook side and a loop side. When the layers are put together, they stick.

Velcro joins other trademarked names that are now second nature to us. For example, instead of saying, “I’ll photocopy this,” we often say, “I’ll xerox this.” Xerox is a trademark, but we tend to use it as a verb or a noun without capitalizing it. It has made its way into our common speech and writing. That is probably just fine with executives and other workers at Xerox Corporation.

In the same way, we may ask for a Coke or a Popsicle at a lakeside concession stand without realizing that both treats are trademarked names. If we are lucky enough to use a pair of Jet Skis at the lake, we are enjoying personal watercraft with a name trademarked by Kawasaki.

As for those doting, Velcro parents, I think they are just doing their jobs.To deflect their critics, they should develop Teflon skins and go right on sticking to, by and up for their sons and daughters.
 

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